Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Currently January 2015 and an Announcement!

What the what!? It's almost 2015. And in all of my laziness and internet binging, I see that Farley has January up early!! Huzzah! I am never early or even close to first the Currently Party!

Here is what I have for the new year:

Listening: Sesame Street may not seem like exciting TV, but since I work on a normal Wednesday, I never get to see it with Dahlia. Loving my snuggle time right now!

Loving: How spacious it feels in my living room sans the tree and other Christmas decorations!

Thinking: I would usually put the boxes in the attic myself, but I am pregnant! That means that I don't have to do anything, right?? 

We will be welcoming another baby girl in May!

Wanting: I know, this one is lame. As soon as January rolls around, I get antsy. I would rather have it all over and done with. Bring on the W-4s! 

Needing: One of the groups that I follow on Facebook had a great post about teacher loan forgiveness. It got me to thinking and now I need to make some follow-up phone calls. 

Yes, Maybe, I Wish: If you want to know more about FOCUS as my yes for the new year, click here
Maybe a vacation is in order, but when the little one gets here, will I want to travel? We will see. I Wish I had a housekeeper. This may be the cleanest my house is until 2019 when the new baby turns 4!

Wishing you and yours the best!

Monday, December 29, 2014

One Word Resolution

Hello There Teacher Friends!

I don't know about you, but in the past, resolutions have been, let's just say, iffy for me. I have had years when I made a super specific resolution and it worked out, and years when it... didn't. I am linking up with Primary Powers to share my one word resolution.

Last year, I did the one little word thing and it was like MAGIC to me. In 2014 my word was BALANCE. I had a few other marginally successful resolutions, but the one thing that I did all year long was bring it all back to my one-little-word.

I wanted to balance my personal and professional lives. Any time I felt compelled to say that nasty three-letter-word, YES,  even when I was unsure if it was good for me to do so, I thought of my one-little-word instead. Trading in "yes" for "balance" was challenging and good for me. In 2014, I stretched myself and was able to shift some monkeys off of my back.

In 2015, I am choosing the word FOCUS. I am talking laser-like Jedi focus. Now, that may be the only Star Wars analogy I have in my pocket, but I think I know what it means.

In everything I do, I want to focus entirely on that endeavor. I want to be in the moment and avoid the pitfalls of squirreling, rabbit-trailing, or any other distraction metaphor there is.

Example: I was just really tempted to Google distraction metaphors. That could have been at least 10 wasted minutes! Family time will mean focusing on family. Email, will a hard one. I can tend to be swallowed up by my inbox at work.

Now, I will focus on reading for pleasure:) After all, it is still break and I need to focus on me. I hope you are doing the same, teacher friends!

All of my best,

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Currently

Hey Teacher Friends,
It's that time again! Currently with Farley is here!

Listening: Zig & Sharko. It's this French cartoon. Think Tom and Jerry, but instead of a cat and mouse, you can insert a hyena who repeatedly tries to eat a mermaid and is twarted by a bodyguard-like shark. No really! That is pretty much what happens. And they don't talk. Here is an episode. We found it on Netflix. 

Loving: How much relaxing I am getting done today! Already managed to sleep in and procrastinate. Success!

Thinking: What yummy food are you having on this holiday weekend? We went to a cookout for a friend's birthday last night and took hotwings that the hubs made. YUM!

Wanting: I only make it out to the movies when a kids movie is on or I make it a priority. See anything good lately?

Needing: I have a post about my new classroom, our bookstudy, and some other things in the works. Enter procrastination!

3 Trips: I love to travel. We are in the beginning stages of planning a vaca with my Mama for next summer. I would love to head out on a road trip to the Northwest, any California Park with giant trees, or a cruise. Not sure about cruises and kids. Maybe a Disney Cruise? Advice?

Have a wonderful Labor Day!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Modes of Writing Foldable FREEBIE and a CURRENTLY

Foldables are such a fun and interactive way to transform your lessons. They are student-centered and can be a good way to reach all kinds of learners.

If you have been on Pinterest lately (we all know I can't seem to get OFF of Pinterest), you have seen Interactive Notebooks.

Today I am sharing a fun and foldable way to introduce your students to the different modes of writing: Narrative, Informative, and Persuasive. Cut out and glue it down or tuck it away from later reference.

Go HERE to grab this from the shop

On to CURRENTLY! Linking up with Farley this month...and on the first day!

LISTENING: Jack White, in my opinion, is a genius! If you haven't listening to his musical stylings since The White Stripes, rediscover him now. IF you have been listening to him since then, can we be friends? Kidding, not kidding.

Try out this dandy ditty IF, and ONLY IF, you agree to jam out. Also, the first 5 seconds grows on you:) And listen to the vocabulary. He uses the word avuncular. Come on!

LOVING: I am moving out of the Harry Potter Closet. Not to complain, that office was good to me, but having crooked stairs in your space get to a girl, ya know? Being an Instructional Coach with no place to hang data and things was a challenge. More to come on the new digs in a future post! Let's hope I can rise to grow in the space.
THINKING: Speaking of growing... I'm obsessing over GROWTH MINDSET! Have you read Mindset by Carol Dweck?

If you want to revolutionize your thinking in a way that impacts your entire life, read it. I am making it sound like a cult. It's not, promise. Here, watch this instead:

Powerful, right? My faculty is reading Mindset for our book study this year. Not to mention that the hubs and I are working on using the language of the growth mindset at home with our Darling Dahlia.  I will keep you posted!

WANTING: A new purse. I know, material things, blah blah blah... I really think my productivity will improve from not digging in my saggy, limp, and otherwise beaten-down poor pitiful purse. You DO NOT want to see inside of that thing. My purse is worse that yours. Challenge accepted anyone?

NEEDING: A personal assistant... Seems a bit dramatic. Maybe I just need to get off of my rear and go grocery shopping? Or I could binge on Outlander books in prep for the new Starz series... I choose the latter. Have you seen this? Jamie Fraser. I am not responsible for how many times you end up watching just to hear his voice. I am well over 10 viewings.

Well wishes to all of you already heading back to your classrooms!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Positive Thinking Thursday- July 31, 2014

I'm linking up with Mrs. Lafflin's Laughings for Positive Thinking Thursday.

Here is my quote: 


I have been thinking about my job and how grateful I am to be able to center my role in our school around learning and growing as a person and a teacher. I think that this quote is so tied to that. 

So many times, teachers are called upon to do things and attend meetings and it can be maddening. I find it easier to cope with the demands of this crazy/wonderful/blessed career when I can take a moment to be positive and gain perspective about WHY we do what we do. 

Thanks for listening. I am so happy to participate in a link-up with a wonderful and inspiring premise. 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Classroom Friendly Supplies Sharpener

Howdy Teacher Friends, 

I don't know about you, but one of my pet peeves while teaching is an obnoxious electric pencil sharpener grating away. Sharpening pencils can be akin to folding laundry for me. And I despise folding clothes. 

I actually went old-school last year and resorted to using a hand crank sharpener last year after my most recent electric died. It was the LAST time I spent $70.00 plus on a sharpener that lasted less than an entire school year. While old trusty was free, and it got the pencils sharp, it was LOUD and ate the pencils to nubs pretty quickly. 

After our custodian installed a sharpener like this:

it seized up. He could't fix and we had to install an entirely new one. 

Enter The Quietest Classroom Pencil Sharpener!

I ordered the Precious Pink version to review here. 

Since I don't have my own classroom this year, only the Harry Potter Cupboard Office, I was able to recruit some of my teachers to try it out in addition to me. 

  • The sharpener was quiet. Not silent, but by far more quiet than an electric sharpener or even my old trusty hand crank. 
  • The price is right. You can't beat 24.99. You can get three for $53.97. I would consider purchasing one for each student group in my class (if I still had one). 
  • Every single pencil that I sharpened with had a perfect point the first time. And it didn't chew the pencils up or grind them down to unusable nubs. Score!
  • Shipping is free. 
  • Lots of fun color options are available. 
  • They sell replacement blades, so you won't have to scrap the entire sharpener if it dulls.

  • It is a little confusing to work when you first try it. I recommend watching this video
  • You have to hold the sharpener with one hand. It also comes with a handy little clamp for mounting on a flat surface, but I wasn't able to get it clamped really tight. With that being said, they now offer a permanent mount. Woo hoo!
  • While my big kids (grades 4 and 5) would be totally capable of using this sharpener, I think that it would take lots of practice for littles to work it. 
I will order more of these little babies. In the spirit of full disclosure, a couple of the teachers who tried the sharpener were not totally sold. I think that they were turned off by the mechanism that holds the pencil. 

Give it a try! For $24.99, it is TOTALLY worth it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Practically No Prep Listening Center QR Code FREEBIES. Ya heard, plural.

Hey Teacher Friends,
I may be late to the QR code party, but I am arriving with bells on!

Here is my latest obsession: safe and easy listening centers. Click the caption to go to the resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.

12 QR codes that link to safe share videos

6 Qr codes that are Cinderella variants

Did I mention that these are free? Grab em! You can also see all of my safe share read aloud links here: Safe Listening Center Pinterest Board

All the best,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Safe Share Read Alouds on Pinterest

Hey Teacher Friends,
I am so excited to share this with y'all! I have been compiling YouTube videos of books being read aloud. I have painstakingly curated Safe Share links to a Pinterest board. Ya heard, Safe Share! That means no ads. No possibly inappropriate content blaring out of your speakers.

Here is the link to the Pinterest Board: Safe Listening Center.

Enjoy! I will be posting a link to the QR codes that I am making to access these dandy little videos with any QR scanner. Neat! What a nice addition to your listening center:)

All the best,